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The Org Mode 7 Reference Manual
by Carsten Dominik and others
Paperback (6"x9"), 282 pages
ISBN 9781906966089
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7.5.3 Capturing column view

Since column view is just an overlay over a buffer, it cannot be exported or printed directly. If you want to capture a column view, use a columnview dynamic block (see section 16.16 Dynamic blocks). The frame of this block looks like this:

* The column view
#+BEGIN: columnview :hlines 1 :id "label"

#+END:

This dynamic block has the following parameters:

:id
This is the most important parameter. Column view is a feature that is often localized to a certain (sub)tree, and the capture block might be at a different location in the file. To identify the tree whose view to capture, you can use 4 values:
local
use the tree in which the capture block is located
global
make a global view, including all headings in the file
"file:path-to-file"
run column view at the top of this file
"ID"
call column view in the tree that has an :ID: property with the value label. You can use M-x org-id-copy to create a globally unique ID for the current entry and copy it to the kill-ring.
:hlines
When t, insert an hline after every line. When a number N, insert an hline before each headline with level <= N.
:vlines
When set to t, force column groups to get vertical lines.
:maxlevel
When set to a number, don't capture entries below this level.
:skip-empty-rows
When set to t, skip rows where the only non-empty specifier of the column view is ITEM.

The following commands insert or update the dynamic block:

C-c C-x i
Insert a dynamic block capturing a column view. You will be prompted for the scope or ID of the view.
C-c C-c
C-c C-x C-u
Update dynamic block at point. The cursor needs to be in the #+BEGIN line of the dynamic block.
C-u C-c C-x C-u
Update all dynamic blocks (see section 16.16 Dynamic blocks). This is useful if you have several clock table blocks in a buffer.

You can add formulas to the column view table and you may add plotting instructions in front of the table--these will survive an update of the block. If there is a #+TBLFM: after the table, the table will actually be recalculated automatically after an update.

An alternative way to capture and process property values into a table is provided by Eric Schulte's ‘org-collector.el’ which is a contributed package.(51) It provides a general API to collect properties from entries in a certain scope, and arbitrary Lisp expressions to process these values before inserting them into a table or a dynamic block.

ISBN 9781906966089The Org Mode 7 Reference ManualSee the print edition